UI Suggestion For Occasional Users

See my last ‘2 Noob Questions’ post.

I’m one of yer long-time users who NEEDS Wavelab but does NOT use it every day. And while WL10 is -waaaaaaaaaay- better than WL7, it is still -waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay- too hard to use if you don’t use it every day. And by that I mean there are quite a number of UI things that “you just have to memorise”… or yer totally screwed.

For example, take the ‘Scroll’ command (which is the Follow command in Cubase).

  1. The names should be harmonised. It drives me NUTS that they are two different things in two programs from the same vendor.

  2. The key commands should be harmonised. Or at least, there should be an -option- to harmonise them… again for the same reason. One vendor, one set of key commands and naming.

  3. Such an obvious command should be BIGGER THAN SHIT and SUPER-OBVIOUS on the screen. Or, again, there should be an OLD GUY UI option that puts common functions like that on a ‘tool bar’ that is ALWAYS visible. Think of this like ‘training wheels’.

  4. The deal where the top half of the waveform does -some- things and the bottom half does -other- things is genius, but unless you use the program every day, you tend to forget that "double clicking on the top half is how you -select- the clip and that -selecting- the clip is NOT the same as being the ‘active’ clip.

  5. There are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many context-sensitive ribbons and menus and functions where, unless you have one thing selected, you aren’t even -aware- that the thing yer looking for exists. Just binding CD Markers to the beginning/end of a clip has been MADDENING to me because I -know- the function to do it all in one go is there -somewhere-. Somewhere.

  6. And last but not least… and I know this is a hard one: The on-line help is NOT helpful for a lot of this. For example, if I need to look up the ‘Scroll’ command in WL… but I’m -convinced- that it’s actually the ‘Follow’ command (because I work in Cubase every day) I’m just FUCKED.

A few years ago I railed, yelled, SCREAMED about the CD Wizard going away for all the above reasons. It made it EASY for an infrequent user such as myself to be productive. NOW, as much as I appreciate ‘the power’ of WL10, I get frustrated doing -simple- things because, unless I spend a bunch of time re-acclamating, I -suffer- with the re-learning curve.

There are periods where I work in WL for literally months… and then I’m great. But there are also periods where I won’t go near it for six weeks. And that is just enough time to lose most of the above. There needs to be some way to bridge the above gaps because I’m quite sure I’m not alone.

I think one solution (in addition to some option to harmonise nomenclature and keycommands with Cubase) might be something like how Adobe Creative Suite has a “User Command Window” where you can literally drop in -your- most often used commands. I use that ALL the time. The really great thing about it is that hovering over a command also gives you the keyboard shortcut -and- tells you where in the regular menu system it can be found. It’s a -tremendous- educational tool.

With much love,


Adobe Creative Suite has a “User Command Window”

I can’t find that on the net. Do you have the exact wording, or a picture?

It sounds like a great idea I think. Though I have no Adobe Creative Suite experience, this reminds me of a similar function in MS Office, where you can also add a new tab to the ribbons and then add any (existing) function you want to this personal ribbon. Whether it’s doable in WL I don’t know, but it could be helpful to have most used functions together on a ribbon, even if they have no functional relation to each other.

I think what he is talking about is this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JX1uzPwomQ a way to customize the toolbar. FWIW
It would be a GREAT idea for the ribbon. Some items I never use, some I use all the time. So Arjan’s idea would be GREAT IMHO.

Hi PG…

This is a ‘power-user’ document which describes all the ways that Dreamweaver can be extended. Basically, you can create your own Toolbars, or Screen Layouts or ‘Commands’ (macros or code snippets).


Look, WL can do a -lot- of this. BUT… the user is always stuck in the ‘Wavelab Paradigm’. If you don’t know inside which ‘container’ (toolbar, specialised window) a particular gizmo is found, yer screwed. Similarly, if you don’t memorise certain basic ‘steps’, you’re also screwed. Basically, you’ve decided that people -must- really -learn- WL in order to be productive. And I think that’s a missed market opportunity for people like me (and Cubase users who always want Cubase to do more of what WL does—partly because they’re broke-ass musicians, but mostly because they don’t want to have to deal with the learning curve.)

So, I think that having a Toolbar For Dummies… where you can put buttons that take you directly to the functions I can never seem to remember… is the right way to go.

One key for this being useful is for it to do the function WITHOUT making me have to learn how the windows work. It’s gotta be like a ‘macro’ where it combines -all- the steps of (eg. selecting a clip, generating the markers and binding them to the clip).

The other key would be the ability to get the rest of the interface OUT OF THE WAY somehow.

Look, I know I’m asking for the moon here. It’s not reasonable to ask for a complete UI re-write. But the reason so many people -still- used the old Basic CD gizmo was because it was SIMPLE. You did NOT have to ‘learn’ Wavelab. That’s what we want: you keep trying to get us to ‘learn’ Wavelab so we can get to ‘the power’. Some of us DO NOT WANT THE POWER. :smiley: We just want 1-click ‘for dummies’ functionality.


Yes, you may be. But Wavelab could simplify complex workflows by implementing some kind of macro system, so users could name functions according to their own preferences and perform complex tasks with a single keyboard shortcut. Personally, I’m happy with WL10 as it is but I would have no objection to the addition of macros.

I also use WL only occasionally and have done so for many years. Almost every time I feel like I need to relearn how to use it. And that has actually caused me to use it less than I could because I don’t want to make the effort for something ‘small’ (I’m currently trying to force myself to counter this). Don’t really have any insights on how you change a user interface to mitigate this, but the underlying issue is quite real from my perspective.

Not to denigrate macros as improved macro capabilities are pretty much a universal good. But I don’t think they really address suntower’s problem. Folks who build Macros tend to have some level of expertise in a program and are building tools to make their day-to-day use easier by customizing it. And that’s great, I do it all the time in Cubase. But it’s pretty close to the opposite of this issue. An analogy using Word might be not being able to easily figure out how to change the font size if you haven’t used it in 6 months. Yeah if I learned how to create & use Styles that would simplify things in the long run. But really right now I just want the font a little larger and I can’t see how to do that.

Part of what I need is a ‘translator’… because I’m so used to Cubase.

Back in the 1490s… when there was a world-dominating software called ‘WordPerfect’, Microsoft did a very smart thing: they created a ‘WordPerfect Interface’. It was half-assed and laughable for power-users, but it was just good enough so that occasional users were able to type a letter.

I think it would be peachy if WL had an equally half-assed ‘Cubase Interface’. Just enough alike to make people like -me- not have to remember that ‘Follow’ is actually ‘Scroll’… and that ‘Snap’ is in totally the wrong place. And so on. Even if the Tooltips and on-line Help could be a bit more ‘Cubase’ it would help.


If you want Wavelab to be more like Cubase you could try changing your keyboard shortcuts in Wavelab to match those in Cubase? It wouldn’t be a Cubase Interface but it would help.

To be honest it’s not very clear what you actually mean by ‘Follow’ and ‘Scroll’… if you mean ‘auto scroll’, this is not called ‘Follow’ in Cubase, it’s called ‘Auto-Scroll’ and this is what appears in the tooltip. In Wavelab the equivalent thing is called ‘View Follows Cursor’ and it’s found in the playback section of the View ribbon. If you take a minute to change its shortcut to ‘F’ then you have the same as the default in Cubase.

Why is ‘Snap’ in totally the wrong place? It’s in Edit, called ‘Snap to Magnets’ in a section called Snapping which seems logical to me (if this is the function you are referring to). Once again you can change the default shortcut to be the same as in Cubase.

I agree, Wavelab takes some getting used to but due to its flexibility there’s already a lot you can do with its workspace and keyboard shortcuts to make it behave more like you are used to in Cubase. However, one thing I’ve always wanted in Wavelab 10 is the possibility of adding specific function buttons to the Command bar, so that commonly used functions could reside there and always be available/visible on the interface. Something like this would be similar to the Toolbar in Cubase and might go some way towards making Wavelab a bit more like Cubase, as you are suggesting.

P.S. I’m assuming you are using Cubase Pro 10/10.5 and Wavelab Pro 10.

I currently have 7 DAWs on my mastering computer but use WL almost every day. When I have to jump to another DAW for a client it takes me a short while to remember how best to use it. It is NOT a BIG problem. FWIW

I do think a customizable ribbon would be nice as there are certain functions I use every day and others that I seldom use. Other than that change I guess I pretty much like the way PG has everything set up. WL is NOT Cubase but it seems that a lot of people would like it to be…FWIW


I agree that I do not have the nomenclature down… and that’s kinda my point. I’m not asking WL to become something that alienates the 9x% of users. I just want a way to make it a bit less jarring for Cubase users. I also think this would be a strong selling point. As I wrote before I think a lot of people who might buy WL keep grousing for ‘new features in Cubase’. The solution is to sell them a WL-Lite that has a shorter learning curve for Cubasers.

It might appear that some consensus seems to be developing around some kind of user-assignable ‘ribbon’… perhaps like Firefox or Adobe Creative Suite where one can simply drag various tools on it.



As I mentioned that could be the Command bar, if it’s functionality were extended a bit.